Game fosters creativity and tech skills in kids

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - If you have a teen or tween in your life, there's a good chance they're playing Minecraft.  There are even plush toys, posters, tee shirts and more in the offline world that kids can buy.

Our cyber expert, Theresa Payton, says it is a great outlet if you take a few steps to protect your kids and your home devices.  Theresa's advice follows:

What is it?

1.  Minecreaft is a free (some add ons can be purchased) and there is a paid version of the game

2.  Players can play in worlds created by others or they can create their own

Safety Tips:

1.  Minecraft assumes you are 13+ or have parental supervision if you are playing the paid version

2.  This game is global - so remember they could be chatting with people they don't really know

3.  There is a chat function in Minecraft that does not censor out personal information so if your kid shares home address, phone numbers, etc. that could be a concern

4.  Consider using the "single player" version of the game or set up a server where you only allow your kids and your kids' friends (call their parents to confirm) be invited to your server

5.  Make them earn screen time and put limits on it

Why It Can Be Helpful

1.  You are building things online.  It fosters engineering, creativity, and creating a player and story line

2.  If your kid builds mods into the game, they are actually learning important coding skills as it takes coding to build the mods; some development shops are actually encouraging their developers to code in minecraft

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